Emmanuel Macron announced during his speech that his government would address the problem. But while the President of the Republic at times remained vague on the measures to be taken to stem the Coronavirus epidemic, Interior Minister Christophe Castaner was quite clear: French daily Le Parisien reported that the Minister of the Interior announced some drastic measures, among “the most restrictive in force in Europe today,” according to him.
“I decided to further strengthen the measures to reduce our travel and our contacts to the bare essentials from tomorrow [Tuesday, March 17, ed] from noon and for at least a fortnight,” Emmanuel Macron announced during his martial law speech.
In detail, Castaner explained that travel will only be possible for moving from home to workplace when telework is not possible, shopping for essentials, going to a health professional, travel for the care of children and support vulnerable people and physical exercise only on an individual basis, around the home and not in groups.
To ensure that these rules are properly kept, the Minister of the Interior has declared that 100 000 gendarmes and police will be deployed throughout France. “Each person must have a document attesting to the purpose of their trip,” he explained.
French people who do not respect these restrictions will have to pay a fine of 38 euros, which may ultimately be increased to 135 euros.
“These measures are harsh, demanding, but necessary and essential to protect all French women and men, to avoid the spread of the virus and the overload of our health system,” the resident of Place Beauvau explained.
“Stay home!” he repeatedly said, adding that these were “the most restrictive measures in force in Europe today”. He made citizens understand, unlike Macron, that France was “at war”.